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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 830684, 10 pages
Research Article

Freshwater Clam Extract Ameliorates Triglyceride and Cholesterol Metabolism through the Expression of Genes Involved in Hepatic Lipogenesis and Cholesterol Degradation in Rats

1Department of Applied Molecular Biosciences, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
2Shizenshokken Co. Ltd., 293 Sakai, Bungotakada, Oita 879-0615, Japan
3Sasaki Food Co. Ltd., 276 Sakai, Bungotakada, Oita 879-0615, Japan
4Faculty of Education and Welfare Science, Oita University, 700 Dannoharu, Oita, Oita 870-1192, Japan

Received 10 September 2012; Revised 26 December 2012; Accepted 6 January 2013

Academic Editor: I-Min Liu

Copyright © 2013 Thomas Laurent et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The freshwater clam (Corbicula spp.) is a popular edible bivalve and has been used as a folk remedy for liver disease in Asia. As a Chinese traditional medicine, it is said that freshwater clam ameliorates alcoholic intoxication and cholestasis. In this study, to estimate the practical benefit of freshwater clam extract (FCE), we compared the effects of FCE and soy protein isolate (SPI) on triglyceride and cholesterol metabolism in rats. FCE and SPI lowered serum cholesterol, and FCE tended to reduce serum triglycerides. FCE enhanced fecal sterol excretion and hepatic mRNA levels of CYP7A1 and ABCG5 more substantially than SPI; however, both diets reduced hepatic cholesterol. Both of the diets similarly suppressed liver lipids improved Δ9-desaturated fatty acid profile, and FCE was associated with a reduction in FAS and SCD1 mRNA levels. Hepatic transcriptome analysis revealed that inhibition of lipogenesis-related gene expression may contribute to downregulation of hepatic triglycerides by FCE. FCE would have better potential benefits for preventing metabolic disorders, through greater improvement of metabolism of triglycerides and cholesterol, likely through a mechanism similar to SPI.